Govt taking effective steps to tackle black money: Sinha

The government on Thursday said it's taking effective steps to deal with black money and will focus on high-impact cases with a view to prosecuting offenders expeditiously for credible deterrence against tax evasion.

New Delhi: The government on Thursday said it's taking effective steps to deal with black money and will focus on high-impact cases with a view to prosecuting offenders expeditiously for credible deterrence against tax evasion.

"While focusing on non-intrusive measures, due emphasis has been given on enforcement measures in high-impact cases with a view to prosecuting offenders at the earliest possible for credible deterrence against tax evasion," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha has said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The effective steps to deal with the black money issue, Sinha said, include putting in place robust legislative and administrative frameworks, systems and processes, with due focus on capacity building and integration of information received from different sources.

The Minister said the government will use information technology tools to mine data.

In recent months, Sinha said, "several purposeful measures have been taken by the government to combat black money, both by way of policy-level initiatives as well as through more effective enforcement action on the ground".

The initiatives, he said, include enactment of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.

The government has also signed multilateral automatic exchange of information (AEOI) for sharing of tax data and has entered an agreement with the US under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

"AEOI and FATCA will enable India to get information about financial transactions done by Indian persons in other countries," Sinha said.

He further said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money is investigating cases of black money stashed abroad and has already submitted three reports to the Supreme Court.

Besides, in the Finance Act, 2015, the government has prohibited acceptance or payment of any amount as advance of Rs 20,000 or more in cash in relation to purchase of immovable property.

The Minister said the necessary legislation to effectively tackle the menace of benami transaction was introduced in the Budget session of Parliament.

The government, he added, has been renegotiating Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and expanding the scope of tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) with several jurisdictions to facilitate exchange of information.

On the quantum of black money, Sinha said the studies conducted by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) are under examination.

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